THE TALE OF THE ARK (1909)
Article 4278 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Arthur Melbourne Cooper
What it is: Stop-motion take on Biblical tale
A child dreams that Noah emerges from her toy model of the ark, and calls the animals together to avoid the flood.
This is one of the more elaborate stop-motion experiments in early cinema, as Noah and all the animals appear to be animated dolls, possibly made of clay. The fantastic elements have to do with the way the animals are handled; the elephants spend much of their time on two feet cavorting in un-elephant like ways, and certainly the way the animals all line up on their own seems fantastic enough. It’s a pretty charming and delightful way to tell the story, with little comic touches like Noah having trouble setting the gangplank and being helped by one of the elephants. All in all, this one is quite entertaining.